Thursday, February 28, 2013

walls apples and bright eyes

As I wrote 'bright eyes' above in my title  I thought of Garys eyes that open every time I walk into the room no matter how quiet I am. And my journal page I have just completed with rabbits scattering all around my head. When I created it I was more thinking of all my thoughts scrambling and trying to hang onto to too much information in my head. Felt Like I had a head full of rabbits. But now Water-ship Down has just popped up. Makes sense.
Gary has stabilized 'just' after another dip and we have had a good two days. There is more and less of him every day.
I hit the wall yesterday,everything got too much.I just wanted to go home and take Gary and have my life and family back. At times it is like being a mouse in maze and I keep taking the next turn and finding another another wall and an obstacle to figure out and the maze is getting smaller and the problem bigger. Not fun having meltdowns in front of an audience.I am usually in my vege Garden or out walking the dog. Those options not available at the moment
The thing is I cant keep everything together as I would like it and life will be completely different and not as I have known it for 27 years and I dont want it. But what do you do. You keep on walking toward that Narnian door with God holding your hand and praying. So many Narinaian doors and forests in our lives for so many different reasons.

Grateful for Apples-thanks Lynn and Gavin( lovely to see them)
A Laden Basket from Timaru that Brightened Garys day as I had had a parcel in the morning and he was feeling like he needed one and one arrived xx
Grateful for Nurses who remain patient with me when I am myself and not coping as well I think I should.
Cute little M and M Fan that mum bought in for gary to create some air flow

Monday, February 25, 2013

Week Six

Whats been happening at the Hospice.
Cat-patting. Gary is missing Spacey and has been enticing this rather lovely Burmese to hang out with him.
We have been for a trip to the bottom gardens to feed the ducks and check out the roses. Photos coming. A trip to Port Chalmers via the old motor way to see the Ralph Hotere Garden and eat some hot chips.
Sat-late afternoon on the spur of the Moment, we zipped out to Broad Bay and tried out the new Spa pool that our friends had speedily installed. Much to Garys delight. It was awesome.
All this activity has tired Gaz out.  
He is still Gary and creating and generating scenarios and planning and organizing his trips and his day down to small details, but he is getting a bit puffed..or as we put it today losing his puff. 
The last two days Gary has napped and slept with not much awake time. Every time he wakes and realizes how much time has gone by he feels distressed. There could be lots of reasons for this. A new Med regime which is still settling. Activity. The progression of disease, where fatigue is to be expected. Today he has a temperature and has a headache which is being monitored to see what happens with it. Whether it is related to Metabolic changes or an infection. A wait and see.
Today I made a plan for his Puff. We are to be the wind in his sails. Sometimes I lose my puff too and its good to do things that fill you up.
I picked up Hana and she is reading out loud to him. Gary is much pleased at this arrangement and is keeping himself awake listening to her.
Zach just massaged his feet :-).
I have been walking each morning up to Chingford park and hanging out in the bush. I loop around the track a couple of times. Its great. The last couple of days I put on a play list that Macker made and walked a bit faster. I also did some journal writing 7 pages that helped clear my head and made a creative list I can refer to when Garys sleeping and I get a bit lost, will post that at some stage on my Art Journal blog.

Hurrah for Sock Monkeys.
These wee guys belong to a lovely woman who was in the next door room. She spied my sock monkeys and asked about them.
I connected her up to the Katarina Thorsen Video, , helped her with some cutting out and she's away. She had three made in as many days with orders for more. She said she has never made anything like this before and was a bit nervous (as I was in the beginning) with the cutting out. She is a perfectionist aand her monkeys show this, very neat monkeys. Not like my scruffy ones:-). I love how they turn out so differently. I was wrapped to see the monkeys appearing. The power of sock monkeys is not to be underestimated.
The grey and blue one is called Mervyn.
(K) if you are reading this, thank you for your note and kind are an awesome monkey maker. I wish you every best.:-)

Grateful for God
Sock monkeys
People who cook me food 
Zucchinis for reliable prolificness. I am microwaving them at present with chili, fresh tomato, spinach and wee bit of bacon.At the end I mix in some grated cheese and black is my dish of the fortnight. Not sick of it yet.
Compassionate staff
Trees in Chingford who dont mind hugs and people telling them their problems(they have heard it all before)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Catch up

Yesterday gaz mac and dominic and I drove over the back Rd From here to Port Chalmers and got some hot chips which we ate up at the Ralph Hotere Garden. It was a good outing. Always takes some planning.The morning was a bit slow as Gary was very tired. The morning Meds were taken all at once which addled him a bit . Usually more spaces between them but he slept most of the night(:-)) and ended up taking on too many in a short time period. Good lesson and we have a good plan and regime now which we will stick to for a few days until it needs reviewed again. Seems to be three to five days where change takes place. With incremental ones every day. Little little and then a Jump and then Plateau.
Today peaceful and quiet. A surprise visit from his big Brother bought a huge smile to his face and set him up for the day.
I am about to head home to sort out hungry cats and water my garden for a couple of hours. Dig some spuds and fry them up for Garys tea. Finished a wee painting of Gaz and Mango..last day at the river and am puddling on some more. Creativity and head space is a good thing.
Love love
last day at the river Ote

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Sat Morning after rain last night

This morning after a bit of an unsettled night. Our lovely Nurse came in with Garys morning meds, extra pain relief and then turned back up with a cup of tea for both of us. She thought we might need it as we both looked a bit tired. Gary and I have decided it is better than a five star Hotel here.
Service is better and funded, the drugs are superior and everybody without question is super kind. Please feel reassured that gary tells me the drugs are good, I don't know this from personal experience.:-).
Garys pain has amped up and a new pain occurred yesterday which caused great him great distress. The new med regime is dealing with it well now. But as with any change it takes a bit to sort. His breathing is pretty steady but changes are obvious.  Garys humour is intact and he is still flirting with the nurses (the female nurses). He is very funny.
Zach has moved in. It is so lovely to have him here, I was getting fretful with my family not being together. He got homesick for us and his home. Gary woke up this morning and said  'is Zach in the other room?' when I said 'he is' Gary relaxed and smiled a very contented smile.

Grateful for family

Pain drugs
Kind problem solving nurses
rasberries and chocolate
rain for my garden
Zach in our room telling gary about the movie they watched last night
Dog holiday Camp Dent

Thursday, February 14, 2013


Things I like writing about are thoughts I have and connections I make. Activities Gary and I are doing with the family. What is making us feel good. What I don't want to write about but which Gary has asked me too is his shortness of breath after activity and how it getting quite impactful. He changes in small ways day by day and there is always something to sort and change with his care team. The meds in his pain driver  keep increasing (apparently there isnt a ceiling for this which is good).When we have an outing of any sort it takes us both two to three days to get over it.The level of exhaustion is high.
He gets restless at night and we spend most parts of our night chatting and sorting things, ie does he need some pain relief, whats on his mind, how can I help? Some nights its a back rub, some nights just talking, last night I made him some toast.
Our day here in the hospice consists of waking up, breakfast , helping Gaz in the shower, helping my self..gaz helping me by pulling the curtains:-),garys meds the Dr checking in.By now it is usually 11-11.30 and we are knackered and sitting on our bed checking our blogs chatting and having some quiet time before lunch. The last few days Gary has been napping in the afternoon. Usually one or more children pop by and snuggle in. Part of the week I juggle cooking in a wee microwave in the kitchen as Gary doesn't always like the look of the Menu. I am getting quite creative and tricky.
We went home on Tuesday and we were wiped out yesterday with the effort. It was worth it and we had a great time. Zach was able to come home on the bus and we ate Spag Bol and watched an old Adam Sandler movie. It was awesome. We took Mango home too. Unfortunately the message I sent to his carer never connected and there were very worried people wondering where our dog was:-(.
Yesterday I took care of myself and had a massage courtesy of my friend Barb and we ate lunch out. I also bought some fun inks to play with. Gaz had organized a visit with a friend and his eldest daughter so he was happy. It was nice to get back and see him after being away.

The found art of gratitude

I have just spent 20 mins trolling around the net looking for a quote I liked from the Alexander Macall Novel.  'The lost art of Gratitude.'
I always expect that if I do this I will somehow land on my favourite one and it will work out perfectly and give me the springboard I need to write from. Alas not today.
I have been thinking about this because of the Gratitude thing. It has been a big buzz word and exercise as well as mindfulness in all the Art therapy circles and on Art Journalling blogs. I understand the philosophy behind it and have appreciated reading peoples lists and the joy they get from them.
I have to confess at times though the thought of being grateful makes me feel tired. It seems like there has to be real effort behind the thinking to get cracking on it.
I feel pleased about many things in my life and very appreciative, but my pondering has been on the word grateful. As usual when I am stuck I pray and let it go.
Today I was drinking my cup of peppermint tea and I realized that not only was I pleased to drink it but that I also felt truly grateful for the fact that it helped my tummy when it gets upset. I felt grateful for the zip of hot water that gives me instant hot drinks here. I felt grateful for the enormous warm and loving hug off one of the Nurses this morning as I staggered bleary eyed with morning breath down the hall in my fluffy pink dressing gown (lots of broken sleep and a woozy head). I t was a different feeling from being pleased.
I have decided that gratitude is something that springs from the heart, and yes it also something to practice and make lists of.
Feeling pleased is somehow more rational and head centered, still thinking about this..any insight from readers would be appreciated.
I feel pleased that gary is here and is safe. I feel gratitude for the extra time we are having and the love and funny moments that have us laughing and being silly.
I feel immense gratitude for how our marriage has turned out. It wasn't a given and we both made choices many years ago that stepped us towards each other not away.
Once the feeling arrived enormous lists started up in my head.
And in no particular order, the support that has been given to us the people in our lives, Insurance, my KIDS, church, God, humour, ducks, having work and a good boss, books, Art , wheelchairs, tiger pictures, Winnie (who used to work at blue water products) spotted me in Gardens New World today and zipped out from behind the counter in the Deli and gave me my second enormous cuddle of the day and told me she had missed me and asked after Gary. She hadn't seen me for a year after leaving her last work place. She is about five foot, chinese and feisty. I was pleased to see her she is funny! dinner which has just been bought to us, friends who run dog holiday camps, guitars, snow-peas xx

Here is blog of someone I connected with on 6 degrees of Creativity.
Registered Arts Therapist/Artist/Photographer/Puppet Maker Janet McLeod MA AT AThR Clinical (Hons)
She is an Art therapist in Auckland.
She also has another one with some awesome ideas.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

art journalling and IDT

Rumble in the Jungle

Pimping the room Kat and Gaz style

Our Jungle grew from imagining where we might travel that we hadn't been. Our Fan broke in our bathroom and roared for a few days before it got fixed and it sparked the idea of being on a train that was taking us somewhere.
The project has provided distraction activity and creativity. It has enabled a looking outwards and involved others in a subject which is not a single focus on why we are here. Everyone that comes through the door has to find their animal (or bird) whether it be Savannah, Jungle or Forest. Exotic or native and then say why. Gary has made a habit of recording and then sharing this information with others. Hmmm .I am encouraging him to ask permission. Not too worry though as everyone is keen to participate. We have had a lot of Meerkats, one Lion, a couple of elephants and two songs sung about their animals. Pretty amazing really and brave I thought. Also a wood pigeon, a silver backed baboon, a three fingered sloth, a thompson gazelle a furby! frog, and a cat.So if you would like to join our Jungle, post your animals and characteristics we would love hear about them.
I am a tree frog with sticky feet and a tiger (apparently solitary animals but good mothers).
Gary likes the native Falcon and the tui AND the turkey all different aspects of him (and all with wings)

Thursday, February 7, 2013

All together now..Orokanui

Was totally impressed with Orokanui Sanctuary. Gorgeous birds and Trees.Was the best seeing a Kaka with Gaz after all his stories from Stewart Island. Gary fairly tired after his day out. Been a rest day today. Sleeping in and recovering after his cross country excursion. For those who have yet to visit this place, I recommend it. Kat

This was a fun day out with all the family, lots of laughs, a few wrong corners which required some backtracking up some fairly steep sections. Fortunately we had some good horsepower with Zach. We saw plenty of birds but didn't get many photos. I has away from the hospice for 4 hours and used a whole oxygen bottle. This trip was back to back with Tutoi Early Settlers the day prior. So really stretching myself and extremely tired when I got back. Decided to have a couple of rest days to recharge batteries. - Gary

"Off on an adventure"
"Do you think this is the right way?"
"Oops Back we go"

"Shhh go quiet.... bang, scrape, laugh, skid"
Being quiet for Tuatara's

"A Kiwis been here?"


Gaz taiaroa Big day out..Early Settlers

Monday, February 4, 2013

Mackers theme song


Gary and I have a bathroom in our room and for the last 48hours the fan has been broken and has continuously hummed. It has been quite annoying but as we havnt been able to do anything about it, I decided to invent a scenario where the noise was from a train traveling through an exotic land.
Gaz and I went to Africa on a Safari- which I think was inspired by the heatwave and the wind yesterday. All the people in the hospice turned into Jungle animals. There were giraffes, meerkats and wise elephants with long memories and stories to tell. Some night panthers, quiet and observant and monkeys that pass by our window.
We told the doctor about this today as we were discussing how the increase in Garys Drugs through his pain pump has helped reduce the need for break through bolus' all day. Gary also told him about going to the cricket with a friend
The doctor very dryly asked if Gary had really been to the cricket. Very funny.
Its raining today and its really lovely. I went outside first thing and checked the level of the creek, as it sounded louder. I stood in a puddle and had a wee splash around.
On Saturday I planted a few vege plants and feel pleased that it is raining, they will be much happier and I dont have to worry about then for a few days.
The plan today is to develop some photos and do some Journal pages of Chingford,  also upsize a few photos and pimp our room. Jungle it up with trees and birds.
Love love from us

Zach Sobiech

Cool video by a gorgeous young man and response by school children

Sunday, February 3, 2013